On Monday, measures for maintaining high operational readiness along with further cranking up logistics as well as infrastructure development was discussed by the top Indian generals as China is set to keep its troops forward deployed for the second consecutive winter across the eastern Ladakh frontier.
It has been decided that the discussion shall be taken forward over the next three days while the Army brass will be addressed by the Defence Minister of India along with the Chiefs of the three forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).
Along with the 778-km Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan that has witnessed a recent spurt in infiltrations, along both the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control with China, the Operational preparedness was reviewed during the brainstorming on Monday.
According to an official, with regards to border infrastructure development, there is a big gap on the Indian side as compared to China but with the construction of more bridges, tunnels, roads, forward helipads and ammunition storage facilities, these gaps are being progressively narrowed.
Under emergency procurements, delivery of new armaments, vehicles, drones, ammunition, weapons and special mountaineering equipment have also begun. 68 capital procurement contracts worth around ₹6,500 crores along with 113 revenue procurement deals have been signed by the Army since June last year.
Induction of niche technologies
In addition to the traditional kinetic conflicts, a focus on the induction and use of niche technologies shall be made in the conference, with the rapid emergence of non-contact and `grey zone’ warfare.
From loitering munitions, robotics, lasers, drone swarms to artificial intelligence, big data analysis, cloud computing and algorithmic warfare, all of these fall under disruptive technologies while of course, China on the other hand is far ahead of India in these domains.
China doesn’t seem to move beyond the troop disengagement achieved in the Pangong Tso-Kailash Range region and at the Patrolling Point-17A near Gogra post in early August as of now.
During the 13th round of military talks which was held on October 10, no forward movement in resolving the stand-off at PP-15 in the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area had taken place, so a discussion on the much more intractable ones at Charding Ninglung Nallah (CNN) track junction and Depsang Plains could not be imagined for obvious reasons.